By Maëlle Alquezar
Spain has experienced its first positive trade balance in March since 1971, reaching 635 million euros. And its exports increased by 3.9% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to last year.
According to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Jaime García-Legaz, the Spanish economy is reckoned to have broken its records in March, reaching its first positive trade balance since 1971. He said that three reasons explain its projection: the Spanish economy has become more competitive through lower labor costs and lower prices, exports have significantly increased and sales have been oriented towards new markets.
Jaime García-Legaz also revealed that Spanish exports grew by an annual rate of 3.9% while those of the other EU countries decreased. Indeed, France, Germany and Italy’s exports declined by 3.4%, 1.5% and 0.7% respectively. The average EU drop rate was 1.5%.
Recession within the EU forced Spain to export to other markets. While EU exports decreased by 3.2% in March – now representing 48.5% of the Spanish exports – demands increased in emerging markets such as Africa and Asia. This trend is particularly true for Middle East countries (Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) where Spanish exports have experienced a growth of 4%.
Due to a weak domestic demand, more and more companies are focusing on exports. During the first two months of this year, the number of export companies soared by 8.8% to 58,932. Among them, 32.500 export on a regular basis and experienced a 6.6% increase during these two months.
Overall, a rise in exports is a sign that Spanish companies are becoming more competitive.
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